SiRad Easy

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1 Drivers

Guide EvalKit SiRad Easy2.png

1.1 Where can I get the driver to connect the SiRad Easy® ?

To install the USB driver, go to the ST Microelectronics website [1] and download and install ST-LINK USB driver (STSW-LINK009). Optionally, you may also install the ST-LINK Utility [2] to flash the microcontroller firmware in case you want to exchange the radar frontend. Please read the Installation Guide and Release Note linked on the vendor’s website, also see section 2.2.2 of the User Guide.

1.2 I installed the USB driver for the SiRad Easy® but it does not show up.

Please open the Device Manager in Windows and unfold the ‘Ports (COM & LPT)’ section. You should see a couple of ports there. Now unplug and plug your SiRad Easy®. The SiRad Easy® is installed properly if you can see another port show up, usually named ‘USB Serial Port (COMx)’ or similar. If this is not the case, please check your connection and if the device has power. Remove the USB driver and start over with the USB driver installation (also see section 2.2.2 of the User Guide).

1.3 The USB driver for the SiRad Easy® does not work properly.

We recommend using another USB cable since some cables may operate unstable. If that does not help, please update the USB controller firmware of the Nucleo64 board as described in section 5 of the User Guide.

2 Sensor Behavior & Range

3.1 How is the resolution defined?

We define the resolution as the ability to separate two targets in range. The resolution is only dependent on the selected bandwidth. With 1 GHz bandwidth the resolution is 15 cm, 6 GHz bandwidth equals 2.5 cm resolution. In practice, target recognition works from twice the resolution.

3.2 How is the accuracy defined?

We define accuracy as the maximum error of the measured distance to a single target. It is dependent on the number of samples, the bandwidth, the downsampling and the FFT size. If the FFT size is twice the number of samples, the accuracy is two times less than the resolution. We can reach about 1 mm accuracy, also see section 3.3.2 of the User Guide for the formula.

3.3 Is there a minimum range / blind spot when using the SiRad Easy®?

The minimum range depends on the selected bandwidth. 1 GHz bandwidth works from about 30cm, 6 GHz bandwidth works from about 7cm. The blind spot is approximately as wide as once or twice the resolution.

3.4 Can something be detected within the minimum range / blind spot?

Going below the bandwidth-dictated minimum range leads to an increased DC-offset in the FFT output. It could be used to detect ‘something is nearby’ but this is very application-specific.

3.5 What is the maximum range of the SiRad Easy®?

The maximum range is dependent on the target. The 24 GHz frontend reaches about 200 m and the 122 GHz frontend reaches about 40 m with strong targets like buildings.

3.6 Can the range of the SiRad Easy® be increased?

You can increase the range of the 122 GHz frontend by assembling the lens delivered with the SiRad Easy® Evaluation Kit, however, the opening angle will decrease. Larger detection distances are possible using bigger lenses or well-designed patch array antennas.

3.7 How is the field of view of the SiRad Easy®?

The area covered by the radar over distance is dependent on the field of view of the SiRad Easy®. Without a lens, the SiRad Easy® has an opening angle of +/- 30 degrees (-6dB). With the lens delivered with the SiRad Easy®, this can be narrowed to about +/- 4 degrees.

3.8 How can I get directional information from the SiRad Easy®?

SiRad Easy® has a single radar transceiver chip, which is not capable of giving directional information directly. It is possible, however, to use more than one SiRad Easy® to get rudimentary directional information.

3 Protocol & RAW data

4.1 Can I use the the SiRad Easy® with own or third-party software?

Yes. Please read the Protocol Description to get an idea how to control the SiRad Easy® with your own software or third-party software. Due to popular demand we have written some scripts for Octave/Matlab.

4.2 Can I activate raw data only or FFT data only output?

Yes. Please read the Protocol Description about how to set up the SiRad Easy® for raw data only or FFT data only output. You may choose between unwindowed raw data and windowed raw data as well as complex FFT data and magnitude / phase data output.

4.3 Can I use the sensor protocol with <any> device?

Yes. The protocol can be used to talk to the SiRad Easy® from any device, it does not need to be a PC.

4 Schematics & Firmware

5.1 Where can I find the schematics for the SiRad Easy®?

You may apply for a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Silicon Radar to get the schematics. Please contact our sales team.

5.2 Where can I get the source code for the SiRad Easy®?

The firmware on the SiRad Easy® is not freely available but we provide the SiRad library with a user friendly C programming API. We do, however, provide the source code for the WebGUI and the Com2WebSocket tool.

5 Lenses

6.1 What happens, if you decrease or increase the distance between the board and the lens?

You can manipulate the beam angle by this method - the closer you are mounting the lens the wider the angle.

6.2 What is the lens made out of?

The material is HDPE (high density poly ethylene).

6.3 Where can I get your lens design?

We can send you 3D data of the lens - a NDA has to be signed. Please contact our sales team.

6 Application notes

7.1 SiRad Easy 120 GHz Wideband Front End Board Guide

Read how to power and set up the SiRad Easy 120 GHz Wideband Front End Board. The wideband front end supports extended bandwidth (depending on the chip version).

7.2 SiRad Easy 300 GHz Front End Board Guide

Read how to power and set up the SiRad Easy 300 GHz Front End Board. The wideband front end supports extended bandwidth (depending on the chip version).

7.x Can you provide us with more application notes?

We will expand this section in future with advice on specific applications.